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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Norm failure

I have previously posted elsewhere about how similar the failures in indigenous policy and development (particularly foreign aid) policy have been. Remarkably similar, indeed. They also show some distinct similarities to the more unfortunate effects of welfare provision. (By ‘welfare provision’ I do not mean the aged pension or health or education services; I am talking […]

Flag capers

In one of those eccentricities of time and date, Burns Night in Scotland (January 25) shades into Australia Day (January 26), especially for anyone using social media. This made for a very odd Friday evening this last week while I was working late. I saw Scots cheerfully celebrating their country’s greatest poet and the bonhomie […]

Some scenarios involving proprietary remedies

I’m always interested in what people who are not totally devoted to a particular area of law think about certain cases. At the moment I’m working on the issue of proprietary remedies over bribes taken in breach of fiduciary duty. I’m going to put two scenarios to you (derived from the cases) and ask you […]

Some words in favour of monarchy

I rather like monarchy.  I like the pomp and ceremony. I like the sense of continuity. (The Papacy, the Japanese monarchy, the English monarchy and the Danish monarchy are the oldest political institutions on the planet; the English coronation ceremony has elements that date back to Anglo-Saxon times.) I like monarchy’s capacity to separate the […]

Action and consequences

First, a minor bit of boasting. I occasionally submit pieces to Agora, the journal of the History Teachers of Australia Victoria (HTAV). They are doing a “reprint” edition, the best of the last five years, and two of my essays will be included: Finding Patterns in Ancient Civilisations Agora No.3 Vol.43 2008 Discovery, Connection and […]

Harry’s Game

Prince Harry shot at Taliban insurgents during his time as an Army helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, he says. The prince, whose four-month deployment to the country has just ended, spoke about his role as an Apache co-pilot gunner, and whether he had killed. “Yeah, so lots of people have. The squadron’s been out here. Everyone’s […]

Some lawyers take screwing their clients literally

Sorry I haven’t been about very much. Short story: I am in Oxford and I do not presently have the resources to access anything except the visitor wireless network which generally bans (a) my work e-mail and (b) this site as deeply suspicious. Don’t ask. Hopefully to be rectified soon. But it is a red […]

Storytellers and moralists

If you’re going to win an argument or persuade someone to your point of view, it helps if you can tell a story. And by this I don’t mean any old story, but the sort of story that kept you awake at night as a kid, or made you cry, or made you afraid to […]

So Hungry You Could Eat a Horse?

Criminal prosecutions may take place after horse and pig meat were found in beefburgers, a minister has said. Food minister David Heath told MPs that the contamination was “almost certainly a matter of criminality”. Horse and pig DNA has been found in some burgers sold by Tesco, Iceland, Lidl and Aldi and Dunnes. On Thursday, […]

Government: the good, the bad and the appalling

Conservative humourist P J O’Rourke once observed, after flying over West and East Germany, that one should probably try to avoid public policy mistakes you can see from 20,000 feet up. Then there are public policy mistakes one can see from orbit. The two Germanys and the two Koreas constituted natural public policy experiments. Take […]